Post number 401. Wow. That takes a second to absorb. Been blogging a while, I see.
The news of the day: I'm not going to be running for re-election. I'll still serve the rest of my term into December of 2007, but I'm not filing to be on the ballot.
I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with myself -- the thought of being home alone with my son, no matter how much I love him, is truly terrifying. Yeah, no one understands him the way I do. Yeah, it's the best thing for him. Yeah, he'll eventually get back into school. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever.
I spoke to the board president about a week ago about whether or not I should run. He's been avoiding my calls. His secretary will say he's in the office, but then after a long hold, she comes back on to say that he'll have to call me back. I know this pattern. Great.
I told him last Friday that I was pretty sure I wasn't going to run. Not a single word of "I'll miss you" or "You've contributed so much" or anything else that would have been, I dunno, pleasant to hear. All he said was, "I think that's for the best." He specifically pointed out that my son would be a political liability to me. Thanks, dude. You're the best.
Yesterday Dear Butcher really pressured me to stay on the Board, if just for my own sanity if nothing else. Not to run a campaign or anything, but just get the name on the ballot and see what happens. I had a Board meeting last night, so I pulled the president out into the hallway and told him that I was reconsidering. His response? "I've already lined up some people to run. I've been doing a lot of work, based on what you told me last week. You're killing me here."
Glad to know this is all about you.
I asked him if we could talk this morning. Today's the last day I can pull papers at the elections office. "No. I've got meetings all morning." I gave him a disgusted look and said, "Well then. You're making yourself pretty clear. No time at all to talk?" He shook his head.
After the meeting, two other board members, tipped off by him, danced around the subject of my running and all gave me separate reasons why it wouldn't be a good thing. Nod and Smile. Nod and Smile.
I went out for drinks with the Superintendent and one of the Board members, who said nothing else during the evening. Every once in a while, someone at the table would ask if I was OK, and I'd say, "No," and the conversation would continue on.
This morning I got a call from the prez while Dear Butcher was still home. Prez sez that he's promised endorsements to his two candidates, and that he's lines up more endorsements from sitting board members, including the one I shared drinks with last night. So if I put my name on the ballot, I won't be getting any support, but of course it's my decision. He also says that he'd hate to see me hung out to dry (even though he's just told me that he's done it). Then he has the nerve to say that he cares about me, is concerned about me, and how am I doing?
Jesus Fucking Christ. How is one supposed to answer such a thing? Every time he's been attacked, I had his back. His family has gone through attacks because he pulled his older kids out to attend Catholic school. I stood up for that decision. There have been two controversial votes, including the closing of a school, that he didn't show up for, and I am the only recorded vote on those issues. I've run meetings for him when he couldn't make it. But he's worried that my son is going to kill my reputation? Thanks, bud.
(True reason here for the switch in support is that I don't agree with some of the raises that the staff have been getting. We need to hold some money back for trainings and recruitment of newer staff, but he doesn't agree with me. So, buh-bye.)
Running, not running, I've gone back and forth on that one a lot, so his pressuring me isn't really what's bothering me. But, damn, are my feelings hurt. I'm a workhorse for that Board. And mostly, the rest of the Board doesn't even bother to read what they ask me to produce. Hundreds of pages of policy edits? No one reads it. They don't even want to *discuss* policy, which is supposed to be a separate item on every agenda. Every meeting I have to take them through the report and point out where it says in bold "Option 1" and "Option 2". Negotiations? No one listens to the reports we make. No one reads the contract. No one even reads the proposed settlement agreement before voting on it.
Politics, decision-making, finding a compromise, standing up for what you believe in, drafting a statement that encapsulates your priorities, I love that part, and I get annoyed when people say they hate politicians. Because the politicians are the ones who ARE deciding what is going on in your town or in your schools. They/we WANT to hear from people to find out what will work or won't work in any community.
But this part of politics, the gamesmanship, the campaigning, this part sucks.
I feel like I've been kicked hard right in the stomach. *Just* what I needed.